How to Bypass Start Relay on Refrigerator: Best Guide

All refrigerators have a protection mechanism inside their compressor that protects the fridge from electric overload damage. Now the relay works with the compressor to ensure the refrigerator doesn’t overheat.

The compressor does that by turning on and off for the cooling process to take place. Therefore, when something happens to the relay, the compressor will also not work.

You will then end up with a refrigerator that easily overheats and is thus prone to damage. That’s why you need to understand how to bypass start relay on refrigerator. Are you unsure of how to go about it?

We have the steps you need to follow to ensure you bypass the start relay in your refrigerator. Hop on and find out how you can do that.

Bypassing Refrigerator Start Relay: The Safety precautions to Follow

Bypassing the start relay system might seem like a fantastic idea, but it can be a dangerous affair. The relay system protects the compressor by limiting overload while preventing overheating of the unit.

That’s why you need to start by taking precautions before bypassing the unit’s relay system. If you are to do it, you need to ensure you do it only for a short while before getting a professional to fix it for you.

Before starting the bypassing process, you will first need to unplug your unit from the power outlet. After doing that, you will need to get it as far away as possible from the wall. That will give you enough space to work on it.

You might need a helping hand moving it. We can all agree that refrigerators are pretty heavy appliances that would be difficult to carry alone.

how to bypass start relay on refrigerator
Image: Refrigerator Start Relay

How to Bypass the Start Relay

Bypassing the start relay on the refrigerator involves removing the cover plate on the back of the fridge to get to the start relay casing. After gaining access to the relay case, slide the wires aside and remove the start relay from the casing before reattaching the wires once more.

Here is what you’ll need to do that and the steps to follow.

  • A screwdriver
  • A flathead screwdriver
  • Electrical Tape
  • A pair of pliers

Step 1: Locate and Remove the Cover Plate

You will find the cover plate at the rear of the refrigerator at the bottom. After locating it, use the screwdriver and open the screws that hold the plate in place. Place the screws in a safe place to avoid losing them.

Step 2: Remove the Metal Box

Once you have removed the cover plate, you will see the metal box. It is easy to locate once you have removed the cover plate. Now remove the metal box by pressing the lower right bottom.

Removing the metal box will give you full access to the relay system.

Step 3: Remove the Relay System

There is usually a space between the relay system and its casing. Press that space with a flathead screwdriver while pressing the relay system itself. By pressing the relay system, you will easily disengage it from the refrigerator.

Step 4: Remove the Wires

After removing the relay system, remove the many wires covering it to the side. There’s a metal connector that attaches it to the wire to the relay system. Remove the connector first, then take pliers and cut the wire quaternary on each side.

Step 4: Connect the Wires You’ve Cut

Use electrical tape and attach wires you’ve cut to the relay systems housing. That will ensure there is a complete circuit but in the absence of the relay system.

Step 5: The Final Step

Replace everything in its usual place and screw down the cover plate. With that, you will have successfully bypassed the refrigerator relay system.

What Next after Bypassing the Refrigerator Relay System?

After the initial bypass attempt, you still won’t be done. You will need to monitor the refrigerator to ensure the compressor is back on and functioning without hitches. Plug the fridge back into the power outlet and turn it on.

If the compressor is working fine, you should hear it start with a hum or a click. If you notice that, you can now be sure that the relay system indeed had an issue, and you just temporarily solved it.

Because you have sorted that out, you should leave the bypass system on for that long. As we had mentioned already, that could have ramifications for your refrigeration unit.

That’s why it’s best to have a technician come and fix the relay system. What we have told here is only a temporary method to have your refrigerator still work as you wait on a technician to help.

Alternatively, you could get a new relay system and replace it yourself. This would, however, need you to be sure of what you’re doing to avoid damaging accidents. Such accidents might have long-lasting and expensive consequences.

Replacing the relay system is as easy as getting a new one and placing it where you removed the defective one. All you will need to do from the above relay bypass steps is finish by putting in a new relay system before locking up the refrigerator.

How Do You Know that The Relay System Isn’t Working?

The relay system works with the compressor to ensure the refrigerator is cooling. The compressor, however, only kicks in during cooling cycles, which don’t happen all the time. Two primary situations should alert you to a defective relay system.

The Refrigerator Inst Cooling

One of the fundamental principles of the refrigerator is to cool its contents. It’s by the cooling that it preserves whatever you place inside it. That’s why whenever the refrigerator stops cooling stuff, it should be a massive red flag.

A refrigerator that isn’t cooling its contents can’t only point to a compressor that isn’t working. While it might be the compressor with the issue, the primary culprits here are the relay system.

Relay Clicking Noise

Whenever the relay system starts the compressor, you often hear a click, followed by the humming of the compressor. That’s standard for most refrigerators if the compressor starts.

When the relay start system cannot start the compressor, it will try again after a few minutes. (Usually two or five) if the relay is defective, you will have repeated clicking sounds every five minutes.

That should be a clear pointer that there is a problem with the relay system.

How do You Know it Is the Relay That’s The Problem?

The above reason we have cited as pointers to a defective relay system might also mean the compressor is the one with the issue. So how do you tell for sure that the relay system has a problem and not the compressor?

Here is how you can do that.

Performing the Rattle and Shake Test

To perform this test, you will need to remove the relay system from the refrigerator using the steps we outlined earlier. Remember to unplug the refrigerator unit from the power before trying the test.

After removing the relay system from the unit, rattle and shake it lightly. If you hear a rattling sound when you shake it, it will mean the relay system is defective. You will most likely need to replace it since you can’t fix a faulty relay system.

If you don’t hear any rattling, then the culprit is the compressor. A damaged compressor can be a big issue for your refrigerator. That’s because the fridge won’t work without the compressor and you will have to repair it as soon as possible.

Another thing is that repairing the compressor isn’t cheap. It is often complicated and expensive. You will need to call in a technician to help you sort out the issue.

What Damages a Relay System?

We went directly to the issue without telling what would put you in that situation. However, every solution needs a problem. There are two primary reasons the relay system would stop working.

Electrical Surge

This is a common issue, especially if you live in a house with unstable electricity. Intermittent electrical surges might overload the wire resistance and cause them to melt. If the wires melt, then the relay won’t be able to work.

The surges make the wires too hot because of the resistance they build to them. If the relay also becomes too hot, then it might become defective. Therefore, the best way to protect yourself from this is to have a circuit breaker.

Compressor Motor Failure

The compressor has a motor that, by design works on an on/off system. They work when needed then go off when not required. That might put too much strain on the other parts of the refrigerator, including the relay.

That could cause it to stop working.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are electrical surges the only reason why a relay system would stop working?

Although power surges are the primary reason, they aren’t the only reason. Motor failure in the compressor can also cause the relay system to malfunction.

Why shouldn’t I use the relay bypass mode for long?

In the long run, you risk ruining the other parts of the refrigerator. That’s because the compressor has an integral function in the cooling and other parts.

How can I know a relay system is bad?

With the rattle and shake test. This involves you rattling the relay system and listening for any sounds.

Final Thoughts

If you were looking for how to bypass start relay on refrigerator, we trust you now know the steps to follow. Be sure to follow the precautionary measures we have detailed. If you can’t do it yourself, call a technician.

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